Wednesday, June 25, 2014

:shadow weaving:

Still getting very good momentum working on the photos from the recent shoot, so I'll just post them and move on. Once again I'm protecting your sensitive eyes from so-called naughty bits with black rectangular bits. You're welcome?

This one below was one of the few that I used a flash on. As I've said before, I generally don't like the effect that flash creates on a photo, at least the flash that's attached to the camera, it may be time to look into using a separate flash. It tended to make it look like we caught the model in the act, as it were. But I think I salvaged it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Been working on shots from the recent photoshoot pretty steadily, at a good pace. Three done so far, as you'll see below, with bonus black bars for your "protection." 

I'm pleased that I'm not changing much from the original shots other than a little tweaking here and there. I've also returned to a style that I used to do more of, that of putting textures over the photos. The way that they lined up unintentionally in some areas was interesting too. I used to go out in the past with a camera with the intent of photographing intriguing textures to use in works later. This was the era of film so I had to wait until they were developed to see if they were still interesting. It may be time for another texture hunt, of course it'll be much easier in this digital age.

Another reason for the relative quickness of this series is to try and not treat each piece like a precious jewel and spend forever working on them. I'm not saying that I'm rushing through them, but I am learning to let things go or stop sooner than I used to.

I started reading a book that I saw in a store window on a whim that aids in this way of thinking; "Don't Make Art, Just Make Something," which pretty much says it all in the title. As ever the most important thing, like in many parts of life and not just art, is to just start.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Started work on photos from the shoot from last week. No major changes on the first one yet, so I'll repost it, once again censored for somebody's protection, I guess.

I still take a little point and shoot camera with me at all times, and of course times being what they are, there's always one's smartphone. I find it interesting that I've gotten quite a few raves from what to me were just casual shots at a recent event, "Goth Fly a Kite" up in Portland, Maine, which has become an annual occasion. And like a zombie march, it's quite a sight to people not expecting to see a hill full of goths flying kites, often in their usual gear, with extra sunblock and parasols, of course.

I wasn't aiming for anything special or artsy, just recording what I saw, so once again, I can't predict what people will like out of what I do. Perhaps I learn enough from the artsy stuff so that it carries over into the candid stuff. I certainly focus on composition a lot.

I went to a meetup of other photographers in Salem this past Sunday, I still need to find other artists to hang out and maybe even collaborate with. I've had limited success in the past, often I had to deal with egos or just plain weirdness. For some artists their life is their main project and it can get quite tiresome at times if you don't want to share their reality. I'm glad I had my tale from last week to share, and got to hear several others. Not that I thought they were but my experiences are not totally unique after all.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Last night I had a photoshoot that was on my schedule for months, and I learned many things from it, mostly how to improvise, often at that very moment.

I've had limited success trying to set up shoots through Model Mayhem, sometimes even getting an initial meeting to discuss the shoot would fall through, which frustrated me and led me to believe that the majority on there are flaky at best. I guess we can safely just say that about beginners to be nice. Well, the one I worked with last night contacted me first. She was doing what many models on there often do, plan on traveling across the country and setting up many shoots along the way. I didn't ask if she had just sent requests out to every photographer in my area, but it turned it later that she did indeed look at my work beforehand.

So over the months the date and time often changed, and also the location where she was staying while here as well, which was a factor for me, as I wanted to do an outside shoot and I only had her available for an hour, so closest to her location would be best. Also a factor was the fact that she did mostly "art" modeling, meaning little or no clothing, so I also had to find a location in which we wouldn't get arrested. Extra difficult in this state, I'd say. Along those lines, any photos I have on here will have those pesky black bars over the obvious bits, as I don't know if nudity is allowed on Blogger. And I certainly don't want to cause the collapse of society by somebody glimpsing a nipple or two.

So. If you weren't in the area yesterday, we've had a few days of nice summer weather, then cloudy and dreary; par for course in New England. Her time for the shoot went from after 5 PM to after 7 PM. Sunset is close to 9 PM now, but it gets darker even sooner with the clouds. I had to pick her up at a train station, as she was shooting all day in a city west of here. And the park I had in mind was about a half hour's drive, in good traffic. We were definitely racing against time on this one.

We made it there, and remember me mentioning avoiding getting arrested? Well there was a police car sitting inside the park, probably making sure nobody stayed in after it got dark. I did manage to find an area just out of his view, and there was another car we had to keep an eye on too. I'm sure that one stuck around because they surely caught a glimpse of her a few times as she certainly wasn't uncomfortable about running around naked and I had to remind her to keep down a few times. This was turning into quite the guerilla shoot. Next time I do something like this I'll bring a lookout.

So yeah, there's more crouching and low angle shots than I'd like, but like I said, improvisation. And the low light was a challenge, as I don't like to use flash if possible. I set the camera up as best as I could but without a tripod there was still some shakiness in some of the pictures. Some of the shots still look good despite this, though.

I did try using the flash a few times, not awful shots, but not what I was really aiming for either. They really do look like we caught her in the middle of doing something.

And as ever there are wonderful accidents. I don't know why this shot came out like this or how to duplicate it but I like it.

I only got about 60 shots before it was too dark to work without flash, and just as we got back to the car we see the cop come around the corner, so good timing I'd say. 

So yes, a good lesson in improvisation I'd say; adapting to the light, location, weather, and other unpredictable factors, thankfully the model wasn't one of them, she was fun to work with. She'll be in New York City for a week now; I wonder what the photographers there will have her do.